Aim: To compare narrow-band imaging (NBI) without image magnification, and chromoendoscopy with Lugol's solution for detecting high-grade dysplasia and intramucosal esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) in patients with head and neck cancer.
Methods: This was a prospective observational study of 129 patients with primary head and neck tumors consecutively referred to the Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Unit of Hospital das Clínicas, São Paulo University Medical School, Brazil, between August 2006 and February 2007. Conventional examinations with NBI and Lugol chromoendoscopy were consecutively performed, and the discovered lesions were mapped, recorded and sent for biopsy. The results of the three methods were compared regarding sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, positive likelihood value and negative likelihood value.
Results: Of the 129 patients, nine (7%) were diagnosed with SCC, 5 of which were in situ and 4 which were intramucosal. All carcinomas were detected through NBI and Lugol chromoendoscopy. Only 4 lesions were diagnosed through conventional examination, all of which were larger than 10 mm.
Conclusion: NBI technology with optical filters has high sensitivity and high negative predictive value for detecting superficial esophageal SCC, and produces results comparable to those obtained with 2.5% Lugol chromoendoscopy.
Keywords: Diagnosis; Esophageal neoplasms; Gastrointestinal endoscopy; Lugol’s solution; Squamous cell carcinoma.